The Ultimate Virtual Walkthrough: A Naval Academy Chapel Wedding

The Ultimate Virtual Walkthrough: A Naval Academy Chapel Wedding

So you’ve gotten a little extra bling on a certain finger and you’re ready to hit the ground running with planning that military wedding of your dreams. Wouldn’t it be SO much easier if you could just take a a virtual walkthrough of potential wedding venues like the Naval Academy Chapel wedding in Maryland? Especially in today’s world, we’ve become so accustomed to the efficiency of that virtual life. It seems only fair to extend the virtual aspect to wedding venue shopping!

Well, lucky for you, I’m here. I’m a seasoned photographer with more than a decade of experience capturing the best moments of my clients’ weddings–and I know how important it is to see the ins and outs of a wedding venue, quickly. So, today, I’m bringing you the ultimate walkthrough of a Naval Academy Chapel wedding, a Maryland military wedding venue that is sure to capture both you and your partner’s hearts. Let’s check it out.

Iconic Portraits | Buchanan House Garden

When scouting out the perfect wedding venue for your military wedding you’ll definitely be looking for those stunning portrait locations to accompany the military regalia. When you have a Naval Academy Chapel wedding you’ll have access to the gorgeous Buchanan Garden for wedding portraits, which is truly the most gorgeous spot on the academy grounds. It’s filled with lush foliage, florals, and a view of the chapel that’s unrivaled.

The only kicker? You’ll need to request access to use this private garden and get written permission allowing you to do so. Built in 1906, the Buchanan House is among the U.S. Naval Academy’s oldest and most visible landmarks. It’s actually the primary residence of the academy’s superintendent and hosts many of the academy receptions and events.

Stunning Group Photos | Bancroft Hall

Once your ceremony is over (or beforehand if you’re doing a first look!), you can head over to the massive Bancroft Hall for additional newlywed and wedding party portraits. It’s seriously grand and offers that regal feel both inside and out of the building. As the largest contiguous set of academic dormitories in the U.S., this building offers plenty of spots for photos you’ll be swooning over for years to come!

Ceremony Specifics | Naval Academy Chapel Wedding

When it comes a Naval Academy Chapel wedding, there should be no surprise about the rules. With hundreds of weddings held at the chapel each year, the wedding coordination staff are efficient and there to help maximize use. As you’re planning your Naval Academy Chapel Wedding, be sure to ask the coordination team for a full list of rules to have handy for yourself and your selected wedding vendors.

Big things to note:

  • Ceremonies at the chapel can be reserved no earlier than one calendar year in advance.
  • Ceremonies are limited to 30 minutes in length unless it’s a Catholic mass.
  • You have 30 minutes from start of ceremony to sword exit; not just the ceremony length.
  • All wedding vendor staff must have current background checks and base passes thirty days before the ceremony.
  • Ceremonies at the chapel are stacked back to back from 11am through 5pm.

The Cost of A Naval Academy Chapel Wedding

Just like any other wedding venue, there is always a cost associated to use the chapel for your wedding day. Currently, the fee for use of the Naval Academy Chapel ranges from $1,000 to $1,500.

The Must-Have Shot | Sword Arch Ceremony Exit

You know deep down you’re dreaming of the sword arch photo you’ll get as you exit your Naval Academy Chapel wedding ceremony. (We all are!) I’m here to help give you the inside scoop on how that happens!

A group of six or eight swordsmen, selected by the couple, will hold a swords in the air to form an arch. The newlyweds will move forward and have to kiss at each arch. At the last arch, someone will say “Welcome to the Navy” or “Welcome to the Marine Corps” and tap the person not in the service on the butt with a sword.

Once the ceremony is over, you two will be taken to the second level of the main chapel to watch all of the guests exit. The swordsmen will be set up outside and the wedding coordination team will then guide you through the steps of the exit. Volia! You’ll then have your iconic wedding portrait!

All About The Party | Reception Options

Looking for where to take the party after the “I dos”? You’ll have plenty of options after your Naval Academy Chapel wedding! You can always keep it close and use the Naval Academy Club for your wedding reception. Like the chapel, it donates 100% of the proceeds to the Brigade of Midshipmen.

You can also take the party off base and head to one of the many reception venues in the area. Several of my couples choose the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club for their reception and it’s always a gorgeous affair!

Ready for your Naval Academy story? So am I!

I cannot wait for you to experience the biggest day of your life as a Naval Academy Chapel Wedding. It’s truly going to be the military wedding of your dreams. But now, it’s time to think about your photographer. Like I mentioned before, I’m an experienced photographer with a knack for capturing memories in a unique way, and I’d be thrilled to be your photographer for your special day. Want to chat about how I can make your photography dreams come true? Let’s connect today!


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hi, i'm danielle—

In the past 10+ years as a Wedding & Portrait Photographer, I’ve found that, aside from arming myself with my cameras to catch swoon-worthy moments of my couples on their day, I’m also bringing a few other unexpected things. 

Like my tough love mom-voice that will keep your bridal party in check, my air of calm if you’re feeling overwhelmed, and the corniest jokes so no one has the jitters in front of the camera!

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